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How to improve reading skills in a play way method

Post by: Deepti Khanna

Amongst the very many habits, the one that I would certainly like my daughter to inherit is the habit of reading. Seeing her seated in her own private corner devouring good books, being able to use the most fitting words, discovering the importance of pronouncing words rightly and making use of the right punctuations and pauses as and when necessary, would make me a happy mother . But for kids to inculcate such a skill set, it is important for parents to step in and bring forth the pleasures of reading.


Here’s how a parent could encourage kids to read, write and express themselves better, albeit in a play way method.   

Time to review

The easiest way to introduce your kids to reading good books is by getting them books of different genres and making them read and write reviews for the books they have read. In the beginning you could get short stories or flash fictions for them and then slowly gravitate on other genres depending on what they like comic fantasies and mystery and thrillers. Obviously you would not be showered by positives and happy faces all along, but slowly you will begin to pick up hints on what kids may like and win their hearts.

With love hate

There are chances that kids would play truant and say they did not like anything in the book at all; or say they have read the book when in reality they did not go beyond the first page. In this case, ask them to focus the review on the 5 points they hated in the book. Kids these days are more comfortable sharing what they dislike rather than what they like. Chat up with them, ask them the reason for not liking the book or its characters – was it because he had a roving eye, was it because he abused his wife, was it because he was greedy, selfish or unhygienic. Give them options and they are sure to respond.

Building a story around it

Once kids have started reading or understanding how much fun this activity can be, you could then provide characters and ask them to build a story around it. Suppose the protagonists from Oliver Twist and Emma were to be a lead pair in a novel to be written by them, what would the story be about? Emma would probably try fixing Oliver Twist after inviting him for balls and card parties and then realize that she has a soft corner for him!

Twist in the tale

You could also ask the kids to tweak the story and narrate it in their own words. For instance what would happen to One Night At A Call Centre by Chetan Bhagat if it was to be a romance between middle-aged people? Or what would happen to Ruskin Bond’s The Blue Umbrella if the shopkeeper Ram Bhaosa would have succeeded in robbing the blue umbrella?


Adding drama

Now if your kids are younger, they would not like sessions that involve just thinking. Adding drama and sprinkling some humor would capture their attention. Kids need a lot of around them to hold their interest. Select a portion of their favourite novels and ask them to become a character and dramatize the scene. Once kids get a hang of this you could again mix characters and make them have one helluva good time. 

Encourage your kids to think and read, they are sure to surprise and outsmart you!

1 Comment

Add Your Comment:

Thanx v much 4 such useful articles. reading is one of the great pleasures. Reading makes you experience the virtual world throu somebody. I would rather read than watch TV.
Sun,Sep 18th 2011 4:32 PM